Category Archives: SK

SK – John McGraw AE6QR 1935-2013

John McGraw AE6QR 19352013

SK – John McGraw AE6QR 1935-2013

John Anthony McGraw – AE6QR, 78, of Fresno became a Silent Key Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

John was a fixture at many amateur radio groups around the Clovis/Fresno Area. As a member he attended the Clovis Amateur Radio Pioneers club meetings and when not assisting with Public Service events, was often heard telling stories of his adventures as a charter bus driver.

John AE6QR was involved with EMCOMM

At the Fresno Amateur Radio Club he was a Board of Directors member and was always to be found hustling members to purchase drawing tickets for the club drawings.

John was also a member of the Fresno ARES/RACES and SATERN groups.


April 20, 2013 Fresno Bee Obituary


Remembrance by from the Fresno ARES Website:

John was a member of ARES when the group met in the backroom of Perko’s Restaurant on Bullard (also gone).  John believed in Amateur Radio Emergency Service and along with Paul Heinz, AE6QP-SK, Kathy Laskey, KE6KSD, Kieth Harter, WB6CXX-SK, Bob Airhart, W6RTS (recovering from stroke) and myself, we began laying the foundation for EmComm in Fresno County about 2004.  Working on fundamentals and networking in the valley, John and I shared membership on the Fresno ARC Board of Directors.

As a dedicated member of the Fresno Club and Clovis Club, John supported the Clubs and ARES by attending almost every meeting.  He and a group of blue-collar hams held court at The Fresno Club Cedar Lanes location, until most were SK.  His most notable position was selling raffle tickets and taking responsibility of the drawing of raffle prizes at each meeting.  He became so proficient, his notoriety drafted him into the position at Hamfests and other Clubs in the area.

John was not a DXer, contester or collector.  He was filled with a good heart and good stories.  He also was very deeply proud of being part of SATERN and enjoyed helping where he could.

John and I never discussed signing off for the last time, but as his spark passes to Glory I am proud to have known him and called him my friend and a Ham.

-Dan AE6SX

Benny Williams KW6N – SK

The amateur radio community in the Central Valley lost a long time operator and friend.  Benny Williams, KW6N passed away on August 5th, 2012.

An ex-Marine, Benny,  grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and worked as a mechanic for the City of Fresno as a mechanic. He was very active as and amateur on the air, building antennas, repairing anything that needed fixing, and traveling.

He was interested in operating nearly any event, rag chewing, chasing awards, WAS, DXCC, VHF and UHF contesting.  Introduced to 6M a decade ago, he was quick to work all states, catching almost every opening that came along.  His six element quad heard signals others could barely hear, and his unique voice seemed to have six db. of gain.

In his travels he would take a radio or two and some antennas, and have a signal up and on the air making all sorts of q’s.  He was active in mountain topping during the vhf contests where he contacted many grids and made many q’s.

At one time he held the Cal. QSO Party Fresno County record.

Over the years, many wire antennas were put up, tested, and taken down to make room for another.  But even more important was the help he gave to so many others with their antennas.  He was always ready to go to help.

He is survived by his son Michael and daughter Michelle, and two grandsons.

Benny Andrew Williams, 68, of Fresno died Aug. 5. He was a mechanic. No services will be held. Remembrance: Hinds Hospice, 1616 W. Shaw Ave., Suite A-5, Fresno, CA 93711. Arrangements: Neptune Society of Central California.

Fred Maia, W5YI, Silent Key

CQ Columnist Fred Maia, W5YI, Silent Key – Amateur Radio Examiner, Educator, Author was 76

CQ’s “Washington Readout” editor Fred Maia, W5YI, a leading amateur radio journalist and a pioneer of volunteer examining, passed away on March 28 after a battle with cancer. He was 76. Services are scheduled for March 31 in Fred’s hometown of Arlington, Texas. See complete obituary on the CQ News page at

Charlie Walton, inventor of RFID, passes away at 89
by Dean Takahashi
November 27, 2011

Charlie Walton, the inventor of an ubiquitous wireless technology known as RFID, has passed away at 89.

Walton, who lived in Los Gatos, died on Nov. 6, according to his wife Ann Walton. I once wrote an article about Walton while at the San Jose Mercury News and his efforts to proselytize RFID, known in long form as radio frequency identification.

Continue reading Charlie Walton, inventor of RFID, passes away at 89

Industry icon Donald Rohn passes away at 72

Industry icon Donald Rohn passes away at 72

November 23, 2011 – Donald D. Rohn, an industry leader in communications tower manufacturing, passed away on Nov. 21 at age 72 at Riverview Manor Care in East Peoria, Ill. where he was being treated for an injury he suffered from a fall a number of months ago.

In the late1950s Don began working at his father Dwight’s tower manufacturing plant prior to graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Illinois.

Founded in 1948, Rohn’s primary product line was small residential television towers.
But as TVs evolved in the 1950s from utilitarian wonders to pieces of fine furniture art, coupled with speakers that were as large as the screen, the tower structures didn’t change.

Continue reading Industry icon Donald Rohn passes away at 72

Donald D. Rohn – Obituary

Donald D. Rohn, 72 of Dunlap, passed away at 3:00 pm on Monday, November 21, 2011 at Riverview Manor Care in East Peoria.

Born on September 3, 1939 in Beardstown, IL to Dwight and Lela M. (Dodds) Rohn. He married Joyce Anderson on December 5, 1964. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Surviving are his wife, Joyce of Dunlap, three sons, Thomas D. (Belinda) Rohn of Dunlap; Timothy D. (Malisa) Rohn of Peoria and Alan D. (Wanda) Rohn of Bradenton, FL. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Emma, Kyle, Hunter, Kamy and Daniel, one brother, Richard L. (Dixie) of Birmingham, Alabama and several nieces and nephews.

Donald was a 1957 graduate of Limestone Community High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of Illinois. He was President of Rohn Manufacturing until retiring in 1997 and was a member and Past Chapter Chair of S.C.O.R.E. and a member of Central Illinois Angels. He also served as Treasurer of the Limestone Alumni and Friends Association and served as a Board Member of the Greater Peoria Family YMCA.

He was an avid volunteer and supporter of the Peoria Community as well as being an avid Bradley and Illini Basketball fan. He will be remembered as a devoted Husband, Father and Grandfather.

Cremation rites will be accorded and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm at Davison-Fulton-Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home in Peoria. The Rev. Jack Thompson will officiate. Burial of the urn will be at Swan Lake Memorial Gardens at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Greater Peoria Family YMCA, 7000 N. Fleming Ln., Peoria, IL 61614 or to the Salvation Army 414 N.E. Jefferson, Peoria, IL. 61603. Please visit Donald’s Story at

Leo Meyerson W0GFQ, SK

Omaha World-Herald
by Jane Palmer
April 17, 2011

World Radio founder dies at 100

An early interest in amateur radio operating led to a rewarding electronics career for Leo I. Meyerson.

The Omaha native founded World Radio Laboratories in Council Bluffs in 1935 and it became one of the world’s largest distributors of amateur radio equipment. Meyerson also established the World Radio electronics stores, a retail chain that operated in the Midlands from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Meyerson, known internationally by the radio call sign WØGFQ, died of complications from a stroke on Wednesday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He had celebrated his 100th birthday on March 7.

Continue reading Leo Meyerson W0GFQ, SK

Stephen Gibson WB4NBI – SK

The Washington Post
August 8, 2010

Stephen W. Gibson Topographical Engineer

Stephen W. Gibson, 92, a retired topographical engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, died July 8 at Heatherwood Retirement Community in Burke [VA]. He had congestive heart failure.

Mr. Gibson, a Fairfax County [VA] resident for 60 years, spent 30 years as a topographical engineer in the Corps of Engineers Topographic Laboratories at Fort Belvoir, performing research in cartography and reproduction. He retired in 1977.

Stephen William Gibson was born in Lewisham, England. He moved to Detroit with his family at age 9. After graduating from high school, Mr. Gibson moved to Washington to work at photographic and printing firms before entering the Army in 1941. After attending the Corps of Engineers’ officer candidate school, he was sent to England, where he designed aerial maps for the Eighth Air Force and the British Royal Air Force. After active duty, he served two decades in the Army Reserve.

Mr. Gibson was an amateur radio operator. He published several books in the 1980s on cellular communications and radio, including “Radio Antennas” (1983) and “Cellular Mobile Radiotelephones” (1987). He also served on the vestry at Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax.

His wife of 50 years, the former Margaret Bird, died in 2000.

Survivors include three children, Ann Allan of Falmouth, Maine, Paul Gibson of Springfield and Philip Gibson of New Bern, N.C.; a brother; and three grandchildren.

Everett Thomas W6JUG – SK

Everett Thomas

THOMAS — Everett “Speed” Thomas Sr., 84, of Fresno died Thursday. He was a mechanic. Celebration of life: 1 p.m. Saturday, 3979 E. Converse in Friant. Remembrances: California Feline Foundation, 3934 N. Hayston Ave., Fresno, CA 93726. Arrangements: Chapel of the Light.

Fresno Bee Obituary

Paul Heins AE6QP – SK


PAUL ALEXANDRÉ HEINS Paul passed away peacefully at his Clovis home in the care of family on Monday, April 26, 2010, at the age of 72. Paul was born in New York City on April 10, 1938, and served in the US Navy. He was a man of faith and an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. He had a love of traveling and being surrounded by friends and family. Paul was a lifelong member of the Boy Scouts of America, HAM radio club and the NRA. He enjoyed music and photography and was a jack of many trades. He was also a friend to all and had a love of all things good. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brother. Paul is survived by his daughter, Nicole Beckman and her husband Mark of Clovis; his son, Paul Heins II of Clovis; his daughter, Michelle Heins of Portland, Or.; and his grandsons, William and Alexandre Beckman of Clovis; as well as extended family and friends. A Funeral Service will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Clovis on Friday, May 7, 2010, at 11:00 a.m.

Fresno Bee Obituary